Turkey Yacht Charter Guide
Boatbookings Expert Guide to Chartering a Yacht in Turkey including Gulets, Crewed Yachts, and Bareboat Sailing Yachts
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track charter itinerary that offers culinary delights, peaceful anchorages, and historic ruins in an incredibly friendly environment, then Turkey is for you. Turkey provides a classic Mediterranean charter experience that never disappoints.
Turkey is a vibrant and historic corner of the Mediterranean, where you sail the famed Aegean sea archipelago in the footsteps of the ancient Greek explorers. Turkey has the sun, beaches, islands, and attractions that you want from a Mediterranean holiday, but doesn't have the crowds, expensive port fees, and overpriced food you may encounter elsewhere. Instead, you get uninterrupted sailing, superior itineraries, and the most peaceful anchorages imaginable.
** COVID-19 Update. Turkey is open to foreign travelers - there is still time and an excellent selection of yachts available for your 2020 charter. See our Coronavirus charter page for our most recent updates.
The Turkish yachting industry has grown and developed enormously over the past 40 years, most notably in the area of Gulet chartering, also termed Blue Cruises (see accompanying article on Chartering a Gulet in Turkey). Gulets offer a crewed charter experience on a classic but comfortable wooden yacht, with great cuisine, friendly crew, and itineraries to please everyone.
Chartering in Turkey is not limited to Blue Cruises, however. There are plenty of great charter yachts of all types and sizes - bareboat and crewed sailing yachts, catamarans, and luxury motor yachts. There are plenty of well-equipped marinas dotting the coastline between Istanbul and Antalya, providing necessary supplies, convenient access to safe harbors, and exciting destinations unto themselves.
Turkey’s most established marinas lie on the southern coasts at Antalya, Kas, Finike, Kemer, Fethiye, Gocek, Kalkan, Marmaris, Bozburun, Datca, Mersin, Izmir, and Bodrum.
Is it safe to charter in Turkey?
In short yes. The political unrest has drawn to a close, which has paved the way for Turkey to become the ever-popular holiday/vacation destination again! The Southwestern and western border of Turkey offers some unparalleled safe sailing. For further information please read here!
These wide-decked sailing vessels have evolved over the years from being traditionally used for fishing and cargo, to comfortably equipped yachts with all the amenities of home for a fabulous holiday for groups of people at sea. On a gulet, you can enjoy secluded bays and coves at your leisure while being served delicious, well prepared local food and drinks. Your crew will take you ashore to see landmarks and ruins, as well as remote, charming towns with excellent seaside restaurants (or perhaps some nightlife, if you so desire).
Gulet charters are a very popular holiday with Boatbookings clients – as well as being as fun and as relaxing as you wish, they also offer an exceptional value that is sure to meet your budget!
Bareboating offers the same itineraries and pleasures of a Gulet charter, but with the added freedom of having the boat entirely to yourself (no crew). If you want, you can also hire an experienced skipper to help you sail and plan your Turkish adventure! Boatbookings regularly reviews the local bareboats to assure that they are well maintained and in great shape for your charter. We only recommend the newest yachts for you.
Flotilla sailing is sailing with two or more yachts or gulets usually led by an experienced skipper on one of the boats. Flotilla sailing is great for large groups who may have varying needs. The boats can sail together or separate for a while if one part of the group wants to see ancient ruins while the other is more interested in sunning and relaxing for example.
If you prefer a luxury charter aboard a modern sleek yacht, there are crewed motor yachts that allow you to island-hop while being pampered with the finest cuisine and impeccable service. More and more luxury yachts are now available in Turkish waters, and charters often combine several of the nearby Greek islands for a complete Aegean experience.
Bodrum has a large protected harbor, overlooked by Bodrum Castle, that houses a fascinating museum of its incredible history and a dance club at night. The harbor is generally full of a stunning array of Gulets and sailboats and offers plenty of restaurants and seaside cafes. Bodrum is easily reached from Istanbul and many other European cities through Milas–Bodrum Airport just 20 minutes inland.
Set against a backdrop of pine-clad hills, Marmaris is a popular port that combines natural beauty with excellent entertainment and nightlife. This charming fishing town offers a lively stretch of bars and restaurants along the waterfront; while the adjacent unspoiled countryside offers scenic roads and quaint villages, ancient ruins, and gorgeous beaches.
Göcek has long been a popular destination for both Turkish and foreign yachties, as well as a favorite port of call for international celebrities and jet-setters. The village is only 20 minutes by car from Dalaman International Airport, which can be reached in 1 hour from Istanbul.
It is not just world-class yachting that makes Göcek a special place; it is also due to the way the local culture and spectacular natural surroundings provide such a stunning and serene backdrop. Göcek is the gateway to the numerous beautiful, unspoiled islands in the Gulf where yacht charterers can explore some of the region's most magical beaches.
Antalya is Turkey's principal holiday resort in the Mediterranean region and is known as the `Turkish Riviera` due to its gorgeous setting as well as countless historic, archaeological and natural attractions.
Antalya is the place where glistening sea, blazing sun, rich history, and abundant nature come together in perfect harmony; moreover, it boasts the most dazzlingly clear waters along its Mediterranean coastline, making it an appealing destination for anyone wanting to experience the best of Turkey during their “blue cruise”.
The surrounding province features a shoreline of 657 km with beaches, ports, and ancient cities scattered throughout, including the World Heritage Site Xanthos.
By PlaneThe airports of Dalaman, Bodrum, Antalya, Izmir, and Istanbul provide easy and quick links to all of Turkey’s marinas. You’ll be out of the airport, transferred to your marina, boarding your gulet or yacht, and be off out to sea, all within a day!
The Aegean region of Turkey has an ideal climate for chartering. During the summer, you generally can expect non-stop sunshine, with only occasional squalls from the Mediterranean. Temperatures are warm, but the humidity not overwhelming.
Sea temperatures during the summer are in the mid-twenties centigrade, perfect for swimming and watersports.
It's all about the mixed mezes in Turkey! If you like fresh Mediterranean ingredients - olives, eggplant/aubergine, peppers, tomatoes - you'll love Turkish food. Turkey is famed for its vibrant foods, enriched by local spices. Most anchorages will have one or two restaurants located on the quayside that will cook you up a storm in no time! The best way to eat Turkish is to order all the starters and a couple of mains. Sharing food is a huge part of Turkish culture, so immerse yourself fully into it.
Not only does Turkey specialize in vegetarian/vegan dishes, but also their seafood and their meat dishes. Seafood is almost always caught on the same day, probably by the owners of the restaurant. Their lamb and chicken mixed meats are also not to be missed!
As for desserts, sweets have always been part of Turkish culture, and the world-famous baklava, and kadayif (shredded pastry baked in syrup), are just two of the delicacies you will come to love!
Boatbookings will work with you to understand your needs and match them to the perfect yacht. We will match you with the finest yacht available for your holiday or business event.